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Grand Jury Indicts Clackamas Co. Worker For Alleged Ballot Tampering

UPDATE: Deanna Swenson spoke to reporters today at a press conference captured on KATU Channel 2 News. She said that she had no intent to change ballots or influence election results. Ms. Swenson further said she suffers from periods of forgetfulness, and does not remember the incident in question, until the point where a fellow elections worker took a ballot out of her hand.

Deanna Swenson was a temp working for Clackamas County Elections. Questions about her work came up as ballots were being prepared for counting in the last week of October. Oregon Justice Department spokesman Jeff Manning.

“This follows nearly a month of investigation by the Department of Justice at the request of the secretary of state,” Manning explained. “There was an allegation by an eyewitness - one of the fellow election workers - that Ms. Swenson was tampering with a ballot.”

Now a grand jury has indicted Swenson on six counts: two counts of altering a cast ballot, two more of voting more than once. Those are felonies. She’s also charged with two counts of official misconduct - a misdemeanor.

Manning would not specify the number of ballots involved in the incident, or whether different charges might pertain to the same ballot. He did say the number of ballots involved was, quote, “small.” Investigators believe the ballots were marked in favor of Republican candidates.

Swenson is to be arraigned December 4th. She has not spoken publicly about the allegations since the investigation began. She was relieved of her duties immediately as the investigation began.

Clackamas County was the site of several competitive races last election.  Several losing candidates contacted by OPB have had no comment on the indictment.

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